It has been 7 months since we landed in Addis Ababa and began our new lives here in Sodo, Ethiopia. We moved to Ethiopia to be part of PAACS, whose mission and vision is to train and disciple African surgeons for Africa.
This 16-month-old girl had recurrent lung infections and stunted growth. She was found to have a defect in her right diaphragm that allowed her liver, intestines, and kidney into her chest compressing her lung. This child's mother is very poor and can not afford a complex surgery to repair her daughter's diaphragm. With your help, we were able to accomplish two goals, pay for her surgery to repair this defect and provide complex surgery cases for the training of the residents. We use our ministry funds towards helping those in need and providing educational opportunities for our residents. I recently saw her in the clinic and she is doing fantastic!
One goal of serving in Soddo was to start a laparoscopic program for the residents. The technology is common in Ethiopia, but the skill set is not, with few hospitals performing such surgeries. Since June, we have performed 25 cases with excellent outcomes. I hope this will accomplish two things: 1) Provide resident training that will distinguish them as surgical leaders in their country and 2) further the reputation of the hospital for providing state-of-the-art care to Southern Ethiopia. This has been a very challenging process, but by the grace of God, it is working! The residents are catching on and we are seeing patients come from far and wide for minimally invasive surgery.
Here is David operating with Tsegaye, a third-year resident:
The burden of disease here is daunting. When our residents graduate they will encounter an enormous volume of patients with inoperable diseases like this man. Caring for someone does not always mean operating. It often means meeting them in their humanity, coming alongside them in their grief, and extending love. It's Jesus. That is what we strive to instill in the residents. Here Chala, our chief resident, is praying for this relatively young man with terminal cancer. I'm constantly humbled by the compassion and love the residents have for their patients. This love will change the world!
Thank you for partnering with us to train and disciple these men and women. With God's grace, I believe that they will be the next leaders of this beautiful nation.
We need your prayer. David is wearing multiple leadership hats and trying to train surgeons in a country that frequently runs out of medication and equipment - yes, the entire country! We are also still in a state of transition. All three kids will be starting school outside the home, while Krichele tries to find where God will have her serve in a medical capacity. We are still working towards language learning. We quite frankly are missing home. All this to say we would covet your prayers.
Thank you for your continued support, both with prayers and financially! You are our source of encouragement and we would not be able to do this without each of you!
-David & Krichele
Excerpt from a recent Jeffcoach family newsletter. The Jeffcoaches are one of The Well's Global Extended Families. To learn more about their work in Ethiopia, click here.